Dana Stahl, a learning specialist and educational consultant, will address educational questions and concerns that parents may have regarding their children’s academic development and progress in school. Topics can center on such concerns as how to handle homework dilemmas or what questions to ask at a CSE meeting. Questions can range from “How best do parents advocate for their children?” to “How do parents interpret formal tests that have been administered?” to “Which schools and colleges are right for my child?”

Readers can write to Dana at dana@educationalalternativesllc.com. Dana will respond to one reader’s question a month. Dana hopes that her response will alleviate parents’ concerns and offer useful educational advice.

Q. How can parents help to guide their children when they are at a career or vocational crossroad?

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A.  Do your children know what they want to major in at college? Do they presently possess a skill set that would enable them to seek and secure employment? Are they in their twenties and still dabbling in a variety of jobs? Do they appear directionless? If so, they may benefit from participating in an online career guidance tool that will help them learn about themselves and identify their long-term career interests.

By highlighting an individual’s natural abilities, interests, personalities and values/lifestyles, this online tool will make appropriate career choices apparent. A career guidance tool can help to foster smart education decisions, identify the right internships, build a resume of relevant accomplishments, and find a job right out of high school or college.

Crossroads are always challenging. Transitioning from one phase to another poses a certain level of uncertainty. Being able to identify college and career paths greatly reduces the level of uncertainty and helps to define how best to obtain the education or specific skill set needed to secure future employment.

Scores of young people can be helped to define their career paths through an online assessment tool administered by a licensed practitioner. One such tool is The Greenwood System 120. The GS120 is a career and guidance tool that measures a person’s abilities, interests, values and personality and matches that profile to a database of over 1000 jobs to find the best 10% matches. This system depends upon a trained counselor or advisor to help an individual go through a self-exploration and career exploration process to narrow the list to the very best career matches for each individual.

There are numerous personality/career tools that are not well grounded in their research. The GS120, however, combines the Myers-Briggs, the Holland Codes and a Grit Score to help assess values and motivators as well as personality characteristics and provides a defined list of well-matched careers and academic paths.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. The Holland Codes refers to a theory of careers and vocational choice based on personality types. Grit is defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

Individuals who participate in the GS 120 online assessment can glean a great deal about where their interests lie and what they need to do to secure a career in an identified area of interest.

by Dana Stahl, M.Ed., Educational Alternatives LLC

Dana’s educational consultant practice focuses on assessment, advocacy and school placement for students with learning disabilities and social-emotional challenges. http://educationalalternativesllc.com